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Snaith couple found guilty of contempt of court for breaching injunction order in planning enforcement case

A Snaith couple have been handed a suspended prison sentence and ordered to pay costs of more than £4,300 after being found guilty of four counts of contempt of court for breaching an injunction order.

The case against Christopher Dean and Nancy Dean of Snaith, was brought by East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s Planning Enforcement Team and related to breaches of an injunction order served on the couple to restrain development which was considered to be harmful and was proceeding without the benefit of planning permission.

His Honour Judge Robinson, sitting at the County Court at Sheffield, was satisfied that the contempt was flagrant, prolonged, organised and for financial gain and concluded that the custodial standard had been met.

The judge imposed a prison sentence of four weeks for each of the four counts for both parties, suspended for a year, and ordered them to pay the councils’ full costs.

Judge Robinson has also varied the injunction, which now forbids the Deans from:

  1. Carrying out any construction work on the land know as The Sandpit, Pontefract Road, Snaith, in breach of planning control, including the importation of materials and/or the construction of, or the laying out of any hard standing on the site.
  2. From continuing with the construction of, and/or the laying out of a vehicular access onto Pontefract Road from the site.
  3. From bringing onto the site any mobile unit.
  4. From siting a mobile café on the site or from operating a mobile café from the site.
  5. From permitting or allowing the parking of any motor vehicle on the site in particular heavy good vehicles and motor cars other than those owned and registered and used personally by Nancy and Christopher Dean.

Unless the activity is purely to reinstate the land to its former use.

Stephen Hunt, head of planning and development management at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: “The council takes breaches of planning control seriously and will use all channels available in order to address incidents of unauthorised and harmful development.”

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